I’ve just seen the new Star Wars movie, and waiting the two days after the opening to see it was … difficult. I’ve been avoiding social media pretty carefully to make sure I didn’t ruin any of the movie for myself. (Spoiler alert: there are no spoilers in this post.)
But anyway, I’ve seen it. And … I’m not going to write a full review right now, or maybe ever, because I have a feeling more talented people than I will surely have that covered.
What I will say is that this guy:
has just absolutely taken the heart of me.
I thought I knew what good and evil were in the Star Wars universe. I thought I knew what I could expect from a villain. But I did not.
Upon the first viewing, Kylo Ren strikes me as certainly the most interesting villain in the Star Wars universe so far (including good ol’ Darth Vader, though that’s maybe Lucas’s fault for making the prequels so … weird), and possibly one of the most interesting villains in recent blockbustery cinematic history. He has a terrifying, yet imperfect, control over the Force. He’s bad, but not in the way you expect him to be bad.
He’s vulnerable. Which is something no Star Wars villain has ever been, really. They tend to be invincible, until they’re not. Not so, Kylo. His quest leaves him scarred inside and out. And while his identity is not a mystery — we learn about halfway through the film who he is — what is a delightful mystery is what has happened to him to make him who he is.
A mystery for the future films to explain, no doubt.
But let me dispense with any possible spoilerating. The movie is as good as advertised. I suspected this about five minutes into the film, but knew it to be true beyond a shadow of a doubt thanks to my wife: my wife, who is as much a Star Wars fan as a cat is a fan of trying to murder you on the stairs (not so much seeking it out, really, but if the opportunity is there — well, why not). She leaned over to me about twenty minutes into the film and whispered, “I think I’m really into this.”
Now, having just come in from seeing the movie, I hope you’ll excuse me. I just … I just need a minute.